Kenya news

Ministries to plant trees daily, President Ruto – Kenya News Agency

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All Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) have been tasked with planning and organising how their ministries will undertake tree planting exercises on a daily basis starting on Monday next week.

President William Ruto has said the tree planting exercise will be done on a daily basis for the next six months, adding that each ministry will have its own days for planting trees.

On Friday, when he led residents of Murang’a to plant trees at Karua Forest in Murang’a South Sub County during the national tree planting day, the President noted the six-month tree planting period will contribute hugely to attaining the 15 billion trees the government is targeting to be planted in the next 10 years.

He asked cabinet secretaries to plan and engage people in tree planting activities in various parts of the country, calling on Kenyans to support the initiative.

Tree planting, he noted, should not only be done when the government sets a day for the exercise but should be a daily routine.

“Our country has been affected by climate change, and one way to mitigate the negative impacts is to conserve our environment by planting trees. Today, more than 200 million trees will be planted across the country, and the exercise will continue till we hit our 15 billion trees,” he said.

The president, accompanied by a section of local elected leaders, called on Kenyans to take the tree planting initiative seriously, citing some disasters that have been experienced in the country due to climate change.

“Last year, our country experienced a severe drought where we lost thousands of livestock. Currently, we have lost more than 250 lives due to floods and other devastation caused by the heavy rains.

“Planting trees will help in mitigating some of these harsh impacts caused by climate change.” He added.

Ruto said currently, forest cover stands at 12 per cent, saying with the concerted efforts by the government and other organisations, the forest cover will in the near future hit above 30 per cent.

At Karua Hill, a forest hill, more than 20, 000 seedlings of indigenous trees were planted. 20 out of 27 hectares of the forest have been degraded due to human related activities, including logging and charcoal burning.

The President said the focus will be on the conservation of degraded public forests and riparian land, asking those who have constructed houses along river banks to shift.

On her part, CS for Environment and Forestry Soipan Tuya called upon residents to give priority planting of fruit trees.

She said her ministry will continue to distribute seedlings to residents so as to plant them on their farms.

“Here in Murang’a, my ministry will give out 10, 000 seedlings of fruit trees. The seedlings will be distributed to farmers, as they will also serve as a source of livelihood in the future. The seedlings will include those of avocado, mango, and macadamia, among other fruits.” She stated.

In schools and other learning institutions, Tuya said they will be fully engaged in tree planting so as to help in attaining the government target of 15 billion trees.

By Bernard Munyao

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